Heytesbury

"HEYTESBURY, (or Heytesbury cum Tytherington) a parish and post town in the hundred of Heytesbury, county Wilts, 4 miles S.E. of Warminster, and 18 N.W. of Salisbury. It is a station on the Wilts and Somerset railway, in connection with the Great Western railway. The parish is situated on the banks of the river Wiley, near Salisbury Plain, and was formerly a market town and a borough by prescription, returning two members to parliament from the reign of Henry VI. until it was disfranchised by the Reform Act. The town, which is small, and irregularly built, consists chiefly of one street.

A portion of the inhabitants are employed in the manufacture of woollen cloths, but this industry has recently much declined. Near the town are Bowles-Burrow, Golden Barrow, Scratchbury Camp, Cotley Hill, and Knook Castle, where Roman and other remains have been found. A court-leet is held at Michaelmas, at which two constables and two tythingmen for the town are chosen, also similar officers for the hundred, which is co-extensive with the manor. The living is a perpetual curacy annexed to that of Knook, in the diocese of Sarum, joint value £350, in the patronage of the Bishop of Salisbury.

The church, dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul, was made collegiate in 1165 by Bishop Joseline, and was rebuilt by the Hungerfords in 1404. It is of a cruciform construction, with a tower containing six bells. The charity called Lady Hungerford's hospital was founded in 1470, and rebuilt in 1769. It is designed for a custos, twelve males, and one female. There is a National school, also a place of worship for the Independents. A short distance from the town is Heytesbury House, the seat of Lord Heytesbury, a title conferred on Sir William A'Court in 1828. A fair is held annually on the 14th May."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

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